Fri, Feb 23
Will Munro and Jaime Sin 's weirdo disco night, Seventh Heaven , popped up again Friday at the White Orchid , this time leaving the DJing to the various members of the Disco Fantasy tour: Detroit's Scott Zacharias , L.A.'s Lovefingers , Tako and Loud E (both from Rotterdam), along with local support from Gary Abugan . While all have different takes on the genre, they share an appreciation for the stranger moments of that era of dance music and are all obsessive crate-diggers.
Framing an event around such an esoteric and narrow genre is a bit of a gamble these days, and for much of Zacharias and Lovefingers' tag-team set it looked like there might not be much of a dance floor, but then all of a sudden the place filled up, just in time for the Europeans to take over.
A variety of scenes were represented, including techno freaks, indie kids, house heads and record collector geeks.
Sat, Feb 24
Stroke of Luck
Chicago house heavyweight Derrick Carter has built up a strong relationship with Toronto's party crowd over the years, helped in part by frequent local gigs at the infamous Industry Nightclub back in the 90s.
Unfortunately, many of those long-time fans were let down Saturday night at Sonic when they discovered at the door that his flight had been cancelled because of extreme weather in Chicago.
Fortunately, San Francisco was unaffected by the ice storm, so up-and-coming tech-house producer Claude VonStroke made it to T.O. and ended up taking over the headlining slot at the after-hours club to the delight of those who've been charmed by his string of quirky electro-influenced dance-floor killers over the past year.
Local opening DJs Mike Gleeson and Mischief & Frankie had set up the room with fairly funky Chicago-oriented sets, so the transition to VonStroke's harder edged sound was a bit abrupt. But a few songs in you could see the crowd settle into his dark and raw groove.
Those who pay attention to such things will have heard rumours about the future of Sonic, as talent booker Carey Britt has recently moved on to other endeavours. Perhaps this isn't a big deal, but some may remember that the last time he parted ways with a club was at this same address, when it was known as Boa-Redux.
It's a good room, but it does feel like it needs an injection of creativity and new blood if the booze-less venue is to work in the long term. Either that or a relaxing of Ontario's liquor laws.
Fukhouse and AD/D teamed up Saturday to present techno pin-up Matthew Dear at Footwork , although judging from how packed it was, there was no need for extra promoting muscle. In fact, it's just as likely that they shared the credit because they couldn't decide who should do the party.
Like his most recent local appearances, this too was a DJ set rather than a live laptop performance. This has come to mean a more straightforward dance-floor-friendly mix, which in some ways is better for keeping a club moving over several hours but is less interesting than what he brings to the table when performing his own tunes.
Regardless, it was clear from the turnout and vibe that Toronto loves whatever the guy decides to do.